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New release: Second Line Rescue: Improvised Responses to Katrina and Rita
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6/3/2013 at 6:12:30 PM GMT
Posts: 381
New release: Second Line Rescue: Improvised Responses to Katrina and Rita
Second Line Rescue: Improvised Responses to Katrina and Rita
Edited by Barry Jean Ancelet, Marcia Gaudet and Carl Lindahl
ISBN 978-1-61703-796-2, hardback, $35

How distressed citizens created their own salvation when official recourse failed

Second Line Rescue: Improvised Responses to Katrina and Rita (University Press of Mississippi) chronicles the brave and creative acts through which Gulf Coast people rescued their neighbors during the chaotic aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. In the tradition of New Orleans second lining, ordinary citizens joined in with whatever resources they had. Unlike many of the official responders, vernacular rescuers found ways around the paralysis and were able to dispel unfounded fears produced by erroneous or questionable reporting.

The essays, personal narratives, media reports, and field studies presented here all have to do with effective and often ingenious answers that emerged from the people themselves. Taken together, these reports provide a perspective remarkably different that reported by media outlets seven years ago.

The first part of this collection deals with Gulf Coast rescuers from outside stricken communities: those who, safe in their own homes and neighborhoods, marshaled their resources to help their fellow citizens. The second part of the book features the words of hurricane survivors displaced from New Orleans and other Gulf Coast communities to Houston, Texas. In many cases, the "victims” themselves were the first responders, rescuing themselves along with family, friends, and strangers. All of the stories, whether from "outside” or "inside” responders, reveal a shared history of close-knit community bonds and survival skills sharpened by hard times.

Second Line Rescue: Improvised Responses to Katrina and Rita is the first book to focus on the local people, inside New Orleans and from the nearby coastal regions. Each part of this book articulates and documents the power of vernacular response. It is about what went right in the aftermath of Katrina and Rita—in spite of all that went so wrong.

With contributions from:

François Ancelet, Josef Brown, Charles A. Darensbourg, Mike Davis, Jocelyn H. Donlon, Jon G. Donlon, Nicole Eugene, Anthony Fontenot, Ernest J. Gaines, Glenda Harris, Sidney Harris, Chantell Jones, Robert LeBlanc, Glen Miguez, Shari L. Smothers, Dave Spizale, Angela Trahan, and Vincent Trotter

Barry Jean Ancelet holds the Willis Granger and Tom Debaillon/BORSF Professorship in Francophone Studies and is a Research Fellow at the Center for Louisiana Studies, University of Louisiana at Lafayette. He is the author of numerous books including Cajun and Creole Music Makers and Cajun Country (University Press of Mississippi). Marcia Gaudet is professor emerita in English at University of Louisiana at Lafayette and author of Carville: Remembering Leprosy in America (University Press of Mississippi). Carl Lindahl is a professor of English and folklore at the University of Houston and author of Cajun Mardi Gras Masks and Swapping Stories: Folktales from Louisiana (University Press of Mississippi).

For more information contact Clint Kimberling, Publicist,
Read more about Second Line Rescue: Improvised Responses to Katrina and Rita at

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